Pete Griffiths (Toolroom Records): 5 House Records That Influenced Me

After the recent release of ‘Chicago’, his tribute to the spiritual birthplace of house,

Pete Griffiths gave us some insight into his personal history of house music:

Here is a small selection of House records that have influenced my life one way or another in the early years.

The list could of gone on forever but this will give you an insight into some of my favourite all time tracks & why!

1. Frankie Knuckles ‘Tears’

I actually discovered this by accident when I was about 17 routing through a local second hand record store, I think I got the original 12’ for about 1.99! I got home and sat in my room listening through what I had just bought and was totally mesmerised by the emotion on this record, it was one of the defining records that cemented my love of house music and made me dig even further into the history and heritage of this amazing artist & sound. A true legend that was one of the pioneers of house music.

2. Jesse Saunders ‘On & On’

In 2001 I started a part time music production course in Hoxton, London, at the same time the channel 4 documentary ‘Pump Up The Volume’ was first aired and a friend of mine was editing the show and gave me the original cut on tape, I was fascinated how it all began and used to listen to the sound track on my journey to the college, I remember walking from the tube with this blaring on my headphones completely lost in the music, seeing my surroundings as if it were a music video, I always felt so inspired by the time I got to college and it became one of my all time favourite tracks.

3. DJ Rolando ‘Knights Of The Jaguar’

By the age of 18 I had held two long term residencies in local venues playing every Friday & Saturday night saving up to buy my first set of Technics 1210’s, it was an amazing time with a real explosion of DJ’s filling bars as well as clubs, my tastes in Dance music were forever evolving, discovering new & exciting artists, record labels, & sub genres of house music. I can still remember the day when I walked into Plastic Surgery Records and Owen (who ran the record shop) was playing this on the main shop system, I was instantly taken by the emotion and musicality within what essentially was a techno record, I was lucky enough to get a copy before they literally flew off the shelves, it became an instant classic and is still one of my all time favourite records to play out.

4. Stardust ‘Music Sounds Better With You’

In the summer of 1998 I went on my first lads holiday to celebrate my 18th Birthday in Magaluf, being the vinyl junky I was I had to take a box of records ‘just in case’ I managed to blag a set in any of the bars or clubs. It was only a few weeks before we were due to leave when I first heard this record on Pete Tongs radio one show and I instantly knew it was going to be a huge hit over the summer. I patiently waited until the release on Roule and went straight home to record a mix tape (yes on cassette!) to hand out to anyone who might show a glimmer on interest in Magaluf! On arrival we were met by our Holiday rep, I handed over a mix tape and within 24 hours we must have had another ten reps knocking on our door asking for copies! It ended up landing me a warm up set in BCM and a couple of gigs on the strip at an infamous club ‘Bananas’! It’s one of the most played records I’ve ever owned, I even had to buy a second copy after the first beat was worn down on the vinyl!

5. Kings Of Tomorrow Feat Julie McKnight – ‘Finally’

At the end of the summer In 1998 I quit my then job in graphic design (much to parents anger!) and spent the next few years working between temporary jobs, everything from warehouse work to packing fruit in farms and then Dj’ing at weekends. This enabled me to spend a lot of the summers in Ibiza, that and the fact one of my best friends lived and worked there so I had a sofa to sleep on!
After a night out at Space a group of us ended up back at the sunset strip where some of the Resident DJ’s were playing in the back room of Savannah’s, it must have been about 6am when a large group turned up, the music went off, and the next thing I know the decks were rearranged, some empty beer crates placed on the floor (for him to stand on) and none other than Little Louie Vega started playing, It turned out they (Masters At Work) had finished playing at Pacha and came down for some drinks, spoke to the owner and decided to play an impromptu DJ set to about 150 lucky people until the early hours! ‘Finally’ was his last tune and will forever be one of my treasured memories.